Tuesday, March 15, 2011
By John Mullin
It may be hard for some Bears fans to accept but a Green Bay figure has a lot to add to the current stalled state of affairs between NFL owners and players.
Few in the business of football compare to Mark Murphy for insights and perspectives. The president of the Green Bay Packers is a former Pro Bowl safety with a background in law and I was fortunate to get to know Mark during his time heading up athletics at Northwestern, and he is the goods.
So I was particularly interested in his weighing in with Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk Live on Tuesday, because this is a true bright bulb with ideas and an understanding of both sides, as a former player involved in negotiations and now as a member of the NFL Management Council.
We want to get back to the bargaining table, Mark said unequivocally. We liked the mediation process.
At this point any olive branch is solid gold, and someone like Mark was offering some if in no other way than just the lack of inflammatory rhetoric.
Were never going to get closer to an agreement by going back and forth at each other publicly, he said.
What was a tad surprising was Marks observation that, for all the sniping, theres a level of respect between the two sides that was not there in the 80s. Thats good to know, although its tough to see it sometimes.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus followed Mark and shared some of the mounting angst that is afflicting players, coaches, organizations, just about everyone.
This is really so bad for our game, Drew said. But I dont believe in the blame game. I dont believe in pointing fingers.
He is among those advocating players not sit around, literally, until something gets worked out. These guys need to stay in shape because its their livelihood, Drew said. Im advising guys to work out.. But Im not advising organized team activities because there could be injuries and those are not covered right now.
Like Murphy, the point was not to heap abuse on the other side. As far as NFL owners, theyre not the enemy, Drew said. Theyre our partners.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.